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Lamp Law Now Unfunded Mandate

In its year-end scramble to fund government operations heading into 2012, the U.S. Congress passed a nine-month appropriations bill that left the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) an unfunded mandate. The short-term Appropriations Act, passed Dec. 15 and effective through Sept. 30, 2012, denied the U.S. Department of Energy funds to enforce the incandescent lighting provisions found in the 2007 energy act, but left the existing legislation in effect.

The following incandescent products are set to be phased out beginning this month:

  • Medium screw base standard spectrum incandescent and halogen A-lamps from 310 to 2600 lumens, encompassing the common 40-watt through 100-watt types
  • Corresponding modified spectrum A-line types (e.g., SYLVANIA Daylight)
  • One-piece blown glass B PAR lamps and  BR and ER shaped incandescent and halogen reflector lamps that have been regulated by the DOE since 2008
  • New wattage caps set for intermediate base incandescent lamps (40W) and for candelabra base incandescent lamps (60W)

In a letter to distributors explaining the impact of the Appropriations Act, Osram Sylvania’s senior director of government and industry relations, Pamela Horner wrote:

“The effect of the Appropriations Act is to deny the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) the funds to enforce these specific incandescent lighting provisions through Sept. 30, 2012. Since EISA employs a “phase-out” approach for general service lamps, the only A-line product group affected is the one that includes today’s 100W lamp.”

Funds for DOE enforcement of candelabra base and intermediate base lamp wattage caps were also denied.

Sylvania discontinued production of the 100W general service incandescent A-lamp on Jan. 1, as planned.

'Despite the Appropriations Act language, EISA remains in effect and we will comply with the law regardless of DOE being denied funds to enforce,' Horner wrote. 'Sylvania is committed to offering consumers several choices of energy-efficient products that meet or exceed the energy performance standards set by the US government.'